Sat, Aug 11, 2012
Company Subsidiary Pratt & Whitney Canada Sold Sensitive Software To China
In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) are asking the federal government to consider blocking United Technologies from receiving defense and other government contracts.
The move comes after UT subsidiary Pratt & Whitney Canada admitted it had sold software to China developed for civilian helicopters that it knew would be used for development of a Chinese military attack helo.
According to a Justice Department news release issued in June, court documents indicate that Pratt & Whitney's illegal conduct was driven by profit. P&WC anticipated that its work on the Z-10 military attack helicopter in China would open the door to a far more lucrative civilian helicopter market in China, which according to P&WC estimates, was potentially worth as much as $2 billion to P&WC. The company pleaded guilty to violating the State Department's International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), as well as the False Statements Act. The plea arises out of the improper export to China of modifications to Hamilton Sundstrand engine control software incorporated into Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) helicopter engines from 2002-2005. UT agreed to pay a $75 million fine to resolve the case.
But in the letter, McCain and Levin called the crime "enormously troubling."
"While the State Department has partially debarred P&WC from ITAR licensing privileges, to deter similar conduct by other U.S. defense contractor, we believe that the Defense Department should itself evaluate this case for the appropriateness of contract suspension or debarment," they wrote.
Levin and McCain also asked the State Department and DoD to "provide the Committee with a full assessment of the extent of the harm caused to national security by all of these violations. If any aspect of that harm is unknown, please explain why you have not been able to assess that harm fully."
(Pictured (L-R) Senators Levin and McCain)
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